It’s tempting to try to steamroll the competition. But sometimes a spirit of cooperation is in order.
Jake Rosenbarger knows a thing or two about high-stakes competition: Before he and his wife opened Kim and Jake’s Cakes in Colorado, Rosenbarger was a professional bicycle racer. But for a guy who honed his chops banging into opponents’ handlebars at 35 mph, he has a surprisingly laissez-faire approach to competition in his new field.
“Every shop seems to have its own identity and appeals to a different customer,” he says. “I don’t feel like we’re directly competing. We have a different style in the way we go about our business that makes head-to-head competition a little less of a factor.”
Like many business owners these days, Rosenbarger is guided by a refined, less aggressive perception of competition: less cutthroat, more introspective – even more cooperative. These entrepreneurs say they’d rather use their competitive drive not to crush would-be opponents but to focus on improving their own businesses. It’s fair to say that one’s approach to running a business is likely driven by one’s understanding of the nature of competition.
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